Before doing this assignment, be sure you are familiar with the General Instructions for Discussion Assignments found in the Course Information Module.
For your initial post, just describe something about Stuxnet that you found interesting from the NOVA video. Be sure to provide the time in the video that you are referring to, so other students can find it.
As always, one initial post is due on the date shown in Canvas. The following day, instructions for responses will be posted
For this discussion, you will not be able to see the posts by other students until you have submitted your initial post.
In October 2015, the PBS show NOVA had an episode titled “CyberWar Threat”.
The show is at times way over-dramatic, but overall, they do a great job of describing some of the topics of our course. About 1/3 of the show is about Stuxnet, which is why it is part of this module.
Here’s a short summary of what the show covers:
The first 6 minutes is a very over-the-top introduction, complete with sinister music and animated explosions. Not much useful information, but probably good to watch once just to get a feel for the show.
Starting around 6:00 (six minutes), they introduce the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden.
From about 10:30 through 29:30, the main topic is Stuxnet, and some of the attacks attributed to Iran as retaliation for Stuxnet.
If you are wondering what centrifuges are, they have pictures of the Natanz centrifuges around 20:50.
The attack on the Saudi Aramco oil company is mentioned at 27:25. I especially like how Snowden refers to it as “baby’s first hack”. Though that quote refers to the complexity of the attack, not to the effect which was quite damaging.
At about 27:55 they refer to DDOS attacks against US banks – those are same attacks from the outside reading in Module 1.
After 29:30, they transition to talking about other types of devices that are connected to the internet, i.e, the Internet of Things (IoT).
At 37:30, they begin to describe the “Aurora experiment”. The Aurora experiment refers to the experimental destruction of a large electric generator using a cyberattack. The same event is discussed in the textbook starting at the bottom of page 36. Don’t confuse the “Aurora experiment” with the similarly named “Operation Aurora” which was a cyber espionage attack on Google and other companies.
This leads into a discussion of other threats to critical infrastructure. We’ll come back to that in one of the discussions.
At 45:00, they begin to talk about the offensive capabilities of the NSA, and how pursuing those capabilities can mean that all systems are less secure. You’ve already seen some of this in an earlier NOVA short video. We’ll come back to the topic of the conflict between offense and defense later in the course.
The video ends after a short discussion of the attack on Sony pictures.
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